Master Plan Section 6: Parent and Community Involvement
SECTION 6: Parent and Community Involvement
GOAL: The Davis Joint Unified School District provides procedures to ensure consistent participation of parents and community members in the planning and evaluation of programs for gifted students. (EC 52205 2f)
RATIONALE: It is imperative that the school system take the initiative to promote genuine exchange of information and ideas regarding GATE programs and services in order to better serve students and to ensure a cooperative climate among community, parents, and district. Lack of awareness on the part of parents/guardians or the community is a common complaint when issues concerning programs for gifted students arise.
STANDARD 6.1 Parents are informed of the district’s criteria and procedures for identifying gifted and talented students as well as the program options and learning opportunities available. Parents of students identified gifted and talented are invited to attend an annual orientation that explains the goals and objectives of the self-contained GATE Program, thus enabling an informed choice by parents on behalf of the children. In addition, parents and students are invited to attend open houses and site presentations of GATE student science, I-Search products, etc. The GATE Program/Master Plan, identification criteria, and placement procedures are available on the district website and in the normal orientation materials provided by the district about the district. The identification criteria are explained in the district’s GATE brochure, at a parent education night meeting, by teachers at parent conference time when applicable, and in school and PTA newsletters. On-going parent involvement is encouraged. Translations for documents and translators for meetings are provided as needed. GATE parents are involved in the on-going planning and evaluation of the GATE program and assist with business and community outreach.
RATIONALE: Parents and guardians are aware of GATE program options and procedures and serve on committees or have the option to provide input into the planning, writing, and evaluation of the GATE application. Each spring, an orientation is held for parents of incoming 4th and 7th graders to discuss the intermediate grades and junior high school self-contained programs and to do ongoing program planning and evaluation.
- Maintain information on the district’s website and through school newsletters and the Davis Enterprise for procedures and schedule of deadlines and test dates and for general information.
- Provide information about third grade testing in the back-to school packet; mail GATE information to parents/guardians.
- Prepare and disseminate newsletter and community newspaper articles regarding GATE program options and guidelines.
- Assist teachers in making GATE information part of back-to-school night presentations and maintaining communication about curriculum and activities via email and/or class newsletters.
- Provide parent/guardian meetings about educational opportunities on topics relevant to the GATE program including testing, talent search programs, social/emotional development of gifted children, working with the teachers, etc.
- At regular intervals, formally evaluate or conduct surveys of students, teachers, and parents/guardians, and use the disaggregated data for the evaluation and modification of the GATE program.
- Conduct orientation meetings before 4th grade and 7th grades to include specific information about program options, requirements, and resources. (Translators are available upon request.) A tour of GATE classrooms is available during the orientation or by appointment during the enrollment period.
- Present parents/guardians with samples of differentiated lessons if requested.
- Accumulate and display student work to share the quality of students’ achievements.
- Encourage specific talents through a variety of competitions and exhibits that represent Academic Decathlon, Future Problem Solving, Destination Imagination, Nature Bowl, Math Olympiads, etc.
- Include input from parents/guardians other than the committee, students, teachers, and administrators regarding the state application.
- Encourage parents/guardians to participate in the organization and implementation of field trips which augment the differentiated curriculum.
- Use community members as practitioners, artists in residence, and other experts to extend resources and enrich the differentiated curriculum.
- Encourage members of civic organizations to be advocates for the gifted program.
- Encourage families of incoming 4th grade students to attend a pre-school picnic to reduce anxiety and stress.
- Update and disseminate a GATE Handbook regarding GATE program options, guidelines, and frequently asked questions. This will also be available on the district website.
- Encourage parents from GATE Advisory Committee to report to their sites; this is usually done by membership or attendance at School Site Council and PTA meetings.
STANDARD 6.2 Parents participate on the GATE Advisory Committee which holds regularly scheduled meetings to improve the productivity of the group and to allow issues that arise in the program to be considered in a timely manner. The district GATE Coordinator collaborates with the GATE Advisory Committee to share program information, gather parent input, collect ideas for parent education presentations, inform members about current research and literature in the field of gifted education, share relevant professional development opportunities, and solicit community support. The parents of special needs students such as gifted English Language Learners and gifted disabled students are sought for committee membership.
- Continue monthly meetings (except December) of the district GATE Advisory Committee.
- Continue gathering requests for topics and speakers and providing for parent education nights.
- Continue to publicize parents/guardians education opportunities through district newsletters and local newspaper.
- Continue to include information on the relationship between district policies and objectives for general education and those affecting gifted education; the role of the core curriculum, the differentiated curriculum, and the GATE self-contained program curriculum; the relationship between standardized tests and the evaluation of the gifted program; and the cognitive, social, and emotional development of gifted students and the associated impacts on curriculum and GATE student learning.
- Communicate the purposes, goals, and activities of the GATE Advisory Committee to all constituents. Translations will be provided as needed.
- Continue to encourage parent participation through school newsletters, classroom teachers, and personal contacts.
- Provide summaries of meetings to committee members and others upon request and/or post on the district website.
- Communicate meeting results with all parents/guardians of GATE students through advisory committee members’ school site reports, newsletter articles, and on the district website.
- Continue to share contemporary research findings and journal articles and make available relevant periodical such as Gifted Education Communicator, etc.
- Maintain and advertise the availability of the GATE library.
- Provide or assist in coordinating speakers and/or resources in the field of gifted education.
- Facilitate local parent/guardian meetings, encourage conference attendance such as California Association for the Gifted, support regional workshops such as those sponsored by Capital Region GATE Consortium or UCD Extension Office.
- Facilitate parent/guardian support and discussion groups.
- Continue to support participation in community and service groups and to solicit community business support for financial and other assistance, i.e. mentors, etc.
- Continue to invite neighboring districts to attend district-sponsored parent/guardian education nights and teacher inservices.
- Continue training and supporting both regular classroom teachers and teachers of self-contained GATE classes in effective strategies for working with parents of diverse GATE students.
- Attend District English Language Advisory Committee meetings to liaison with teachers, paraprofessionals, and parents of English Language Learners.
- Continue to attend School Site Council and PTA meetings as requested.
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